If you’ve ever been to West Virginia, you’ll know that West Virginia style pepperoni rolls are everywhere. For good reason too, they’re amazing. I might be biased, but I think my dad has the best pepperoni rolls recipe out there.
My dad grew up in West Virginia and we’d occasionally go back to Clarksburg to visit family and friends. I was always the most excited about coming home with West Virginia style pepperoni rolls. These fluffy little rolls stuffed with two neat little sticks of pepperoni are just plain perfect.
I prefer my pepperoni roll recipe to be made without cheese. That’s usually how you buy them in corner stores. Most West Virginians will tell you to toast them with cheese and top with Oliverio Peppers and Tomatoes.
West Virginia style pepperoni rolls will take awhile to prepare. HOWEVER, you’ll be rewarded with a week’s worth of fluffy rolls that make the absolute best lunch ever.
How to Make Pepperoni Rolls:
For this recipe, start with a homemade dough which will take – more or less – all day to prepare. Be sure not to cut corners on resting the dough as it will really impact the texture of the rolls!
Once your dough is ready to go, you will cut your pepperoni into sticks. I do two sticks per roll, but you can load them up with more pepperoni. If you can’t find the stick pepperoni, you can use slices, too!
After your rolls are assembled, rest them one final time. Throw an egg wash on top and then chuck them into the oven! The rolls are done when they are crusty and hardened on top.
Let them cool off for a bit – or bite into them immediately; it’s your life – and then enjoy them with peppers and tomatoes or with melted cheese! You’ll be so happy that you took the time to prepare these delicious rolls!
If you made this recipe, please rate the recipe below and leave a comment to tell me how you liked it! If you take a picture of it, please tag me on Instagram so I can feature you in my feed!
West Virginia Style Pepperoni Rolls
- Large bowl
- Baking sheet
- 4 cups hot water
- 2 packets of active dry yeast not instant
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ¾ tablespoons salt
- Olive oil
- 2 large sticks of good quality pepperoni
- Egg Wash: 1 egg beaten and mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
Activate the yeast:
- In the morning, add the hot water to a large bowl and sprinkle the two packets of yeast on top. Let it set for 10 minutes until bubbly. Add the sugar and salt and stir to dissolve. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of flour, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 8 hours. Note: The yeast mixture can set for as little as 30 minutes up to 24 hours. I recommend starting the yeast in the morning and finishing the rolls in the evening.
- Slice the pepperoni into 4 inch long sticks (This will dictate how long your pepperoni roll is, so don’t cut them too long) and keep covered in the fridge until ready to use.
Prepare the dough:
- In the evening: Begin adding flour to the yeast mixture, one cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon between additions. You will probably add around 6-8 cups of flour total. Continue adding flour until the mixture is very thick and becomes difficult to stir. Once you're able to handle the mixture with your hands, dump the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface. Knead for at least 10 minutes, adding sprinkles of flour as necessary to remove the any stickiness from the dough. (Do channel your inner pizza maker and slam the dough on the table as often as possible!)
Rest the dough:
- Clean out the bowl you originally had the dough in and drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and use a paper towel to evenly coat the inside of the bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1 hour. The dough should double in size.
- After the dough has risen, punch down to remove any large air pockets. (This is my favorite part.) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425ºF and sprinkle two baking sheets with cornmeal.
Make the pepperoni rolls:
- Tear out a section of the dough, a little smaller than the size of a tennis ball. Flatten the dough ball between your palms into a slightly oblong shape. Add one stick of pepperoni on the right side of the dough and fold the dough over just the pepperoni. Add a piece of pepperoni on the left side and fold over the dough to cover it. Pinch the center of the dough to seal the roll, using a bit of water if necessary to seal it closed. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue making the rest of the pepperoni rolls.
Rest the pepperoni rolls:
- Cover the baking sheet with wax pepper and allow the rolls to rest for 30 minutes. Prior to baking, brush the surface of the rolls with the egg wash.
Bake the pepperoni rolls:
- Bake each sheet of rolls for 20 minutes. I bake the sheets individually, but you can do whatever works for you! The rolls should be a nice golden brown and feel hard on the top.
- Serve with Oliverio peppers and cheese or eat them on their own! Enjoy!